Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Combiner Wars Cyclonus Review

combiner wars cyclonus galvatronus

After seeing all of my favourite characters brutally killed, and brand new, less cool replacements taking their place, I emerged from the cinema in 1986 liking only one of the new characters from Transformers: The Movie.

It all centred on a single moment, when the Decepticons are pursuing the Autobot Shuttle through space (with Hot Rod being as annoying as ever), and Galvatron dispatches Cyclonus to finish them off.
He drops out of the Decepticon ship, transforms to jet mode then does this slow roll before jetting off leaving these awesome rocket trails following him.

Even now, with any jet toy I get I try to recreate that sequence, noises and all.

Ahem, anyway here we have Combiner Wars Cyclonus who is a very heavy remold of Silverbolt. Enough to earn your money?

Read on.

combiner wars cyclonus jet
Hasbro have produced the best recreation of the G1 animation model jet. The top is as close as perfect as you are likely to get, and it looks really beautiful. Silverbolt has no presence here, everything appears to be brand new. I especially love the flat exhaust vents which have the tail fins mounted on top, they just yell "fast jet whizzing towards you!".

The bright vibrant Purple that makes up most of the jet, is broken up with Silver, Gold on the cockpit and some gorgeous darker Purple. 

A far better proportioned and less stubby nose than the Universe toy had, juts out of the front looks sleek as heck.

The telescoping antenna is nowhere to be found, but it does not hurt the look in the slightest. If you really need that in your life, you can mount Cyclonus' gun under the nose to produce a similar, if more ridiculous silhouette.

Curving edges give the jet mode an almost 1950's in places, as there is a very retro feel to it, mostly in the form of the cockpit and rounded body behind it. 

It calls to mind those rounded, vintage cars you see in old video footage of Hollywood during those times the talkies were making it big.

combiner wars cyclonus jet side

However sleek the top looks, once you take a peek at him from the side - you can see Cyclonus is a jet carrying a folded up robot.

You can clearly see his body hanging away under there but that does not bother me at all. The Universe toy looked great in robot mode, but suffered badly in jet mode and lost almost all of the sleekness you would associate with Cyclonus. Here we have a very sleek G1 Cyclonus, just carrying a box underneath.

I don't mind stuff like that, because the G1 cartoon trained me to think of it as having doors and ramps that people could enter through (Silverbolt, Skyfire). or just be rocket boosters.

At the end of the day it is a toy, and not designed to be a Masterpiece figure or an exact replica of a specific vehicle. 

generations cyclonus

It is not as if the looks of this mode are particularly compromised either. The robo pancake underneath fits quite well and does not especially look out of place. One thing that does look daft however, is that unlike Silverbolt, Cyclonus' head is not covered up in alt mode. So he looks a bit like he is piloting an Exo-Suit of his own body.

Hasbro's designers may have just gotten to this bit and given up, because that is certainly how it feels.

If you are are going to remold a figure that is fine, but at least make the effort to ensure make it look complete.

Though his face peering out there looks a bit like the Emperor from Return of the Jedi, or Zartan from GI:Joe.

cyclonus jet mode

Cyclonus' jet mode looks great, and feels like a toy. Not a collectors piece, but a thick, solid toy to be played with.

As with all Combiner Wars figures, making it fun to play with seems to be the prevailing idea and it is achieved handily.

You may not like the robot/jet backpack thing he has going on, but it does not hamper the figure in any meaningful way. In fact you soon stop noticing it.

The head not hiding though, is less easy to forgive. Somebody dropped the ball on that.

cw cyclonus silverbolt

Transforming Cyclonus is almost exactly the same as transforming Silverbolt even if some the parts have been totally remolded and fit together slightly differently. His jet nose for example pegs into a large tab that stands where the tail fins on Silverbolt are placed.

The wings seem to snap into place over the pegs much better on Cyclonus too, where on Silverbolt the tabs seemed to be ever so slightly too big so would often force their way apart.

One difference, and it is only one is the tail fins. On Cyclonus they are separate pieces that slot into the underside of his hands, so when you transform him he ends up wielding them as knives. Vicious.

You can pop them out and slot them into any peg hole but the official way is on the sides of the arms. That is a cool look, but my personal preference is to attach them to the holes on his back as it makes him look like a frickin Dinosaur, and I am in full Jurassic Park mode at the moment with the new movie being out.

Spoiler - Things go badly for the humans, and it is awesome.

combiner wars cyclonus 2

In a complete about face from his starkly G1 alt mode, Cyclonus robot mode appears to based on no particular version of the character - this guy is his own bot. Recently Hasbro have been on an IDW trip, so you may have expected a Cyclonus figure based on that version of the character, after all he is one of the most prominent characters in More than Meets the Eye. No, they decided to go all maverick on us and churn out something different...gut punchingly different.

Hasbro have completely remolded the upper chest, so major points for that, but also in a twist from the total remold of the alt mode, most of the pieces here carry over from Silverbolt. The legs, arms, stomach and waist are all just repainted parts of Silverbolt, but they don't look bad. It actually works fine.

What draws my eyes however and ire (old fashioned word that), is the shoulders.

Not giving him his traditional 80's power suit shoulder pads is a bitter pill I can swallow if someone gives me a matching shade of Purple to wash it down with.....but they didn't.

The shoulders are a much darker, sparkly type of Purple plastic and instantly it pulls your eyes to it and looks out of place. For some reason my brain cannot quite comprehend, it makes me think he is wearing a tank top.

It just breaks up the flow of what is otherwise a lovely looking robot, and it has taken me a long time to get over it.

Fanboy that I am.

cyclonus gun

Also following on from Silverbolt is his gun, but this time remolded in Grey plastic. I have just flung this to the side, because it does not fit in with Cyclonus in my opinion.

It is very obviously Silverbolts gun, and it is too huge to subtly match with Cyclonus. You can use Nightstick from Universe Cyclonus though, and it looks much better on this sized figure to be honest.

Cyclonus does not need a gun though, he has evil tail fin knives.

cyclonus vs ultra magnus

What I have not spoken about yet is the head, which is all new and clearly has had a lot of time spent on it.
The face is fantastic, and looks like he is pulling off a constant sneer, because he views you and everyone else with such disdain. Unless your name is Galvatron, then he turns his stomach into your head as an homage.

There is some excellent paint work with the Red eyes and they are outlined very cleanly in Black.

His head crest is larger than normal, and has a twisted feel that is much more creepy than usual. Then again, he is reborn from a dead robot....so he is naturally creepy.

It also looks even more like a demonic crown, which is cool because as a kid, I used to use my broken Cyclonus as a Star Wars Emperor kind of character and would call him King Purple as his secret villain name.

A ball joint holds the head in place, but due to the size of his noggin you don't get much extra movement out of it. Articulation for the rest of him is exactly the same as the previous use of the mold - nothing new to report sadly.

cyclonus and scourge

Despite reusing many of Silverbolts parts the Purple plastic hides it sneakily well. You don't feel like you are looking at just a Purple Silverbolt, which is handy.

Extra remolding has made a large difference, and despite the annoying shoulders I find that I like this figure even more than Silverbolt, and that was arguably my favourite toy of last year (so much so, I own it twice).

There is just something quite freeing about seeing a Cyclonus figure that is not beholden to trying to stick to slavishly to a G1 model, and struggle due to it being really tough to match the animators original ideas.


This is where it gets a little wonky folks, because as part of Combiner Wars Cyclonus can transform into a combiner torso. But instead of just leaving it as Superion but in eeeevil Purple, Hasbro went crazy and decided to remold it all and call it Galvatronus.

Yes, Cyclonus turns into a body of Galvatron out of fanatical devotion to the artist formerly known as Megatron. Actually, they should have called this mode Purple Rain, I'd totally be on board.

The bio says something about mind control, but really that does not matter and I doubt many people will ever bother with this mode. If you are buying the extra limbs though, it does give you somewhere to stick Alpha Bravo, Rook and Off Road, and create a bitter combiner out of all of the cast offs.

combiner wars galvatronus

Nice to see them go to the extra effort to make him different from Superion, and the new molding is all really nice - but it is not for me. The Galvatronus head does not quite hit the mark as Galvatron, but is quite a cool, Kuato from Total Recall style bonus. If they had spent the extra resources on the individual robot mode of Cyclonus, I think it would have been a much wiser decision.

It is easy to dismiss Cyclonus as just a repaint but it is such a good toy in its own right. The jet mode is fantastic, bot mode is really cool and the combiner mode is...well...it is a thing that exists.

This is not the IDW Cyclonus we all want, but that does not mean it is not a good toy. If you are skipping it purely because it is a repaint then I believe you are missing out, as that was my plan too but once I got it in hand I became completely smitten.

All hail King Purple.

Combiner Wars Cyclonus is available to buy from Masterforce.co.uk

If you liked this review, please check out Toybox Soapbox or you can follow me on Twitter

Monday, 29 June 2015

So you want to sell toys? Part 1 - Numbers

Something I've been asked a lot recently is how do you set up a business selling toys. Is it profitable, where to buy from and what are some tips and tricks? So let's tackle the easiest bit first by looking at the numbers involved.


It's important
to research any market before you enter it as a business and the mistake most people make is that they don't do research. You need to know who your competitors are, where you can get stock from, how much the profit is on the goods you'll sell, do you need importation licenses if you're buying from abroad, is there room for another seller and why should people buy from you, what are you going to call yourself and is the website available for it?

Tofu King: good name for a business in theory but spacing is important!

What's in a Name?
The best ones are taken. If they aren't then it's probably for a very good reason. A number of years ago I was looking at going in to a partnership on a tattoo studio and as there would only be tattooing and no piercing, dermal implants or laser removal I thought that the name 'Just Ink' would be perfect...until someone pointed out that as a website address it'd be justink which could be read as Ju Stink. Likewise see Tofu King's packaging above.

When naming Masterforce, a friend came up with the most amazing name you could possibly hope for and better still, the website was available! However a cease and desist from Hasbro would definitely be on the cards if the business took off as they aren't going to be happy with someone infringing on their intellectual property. Your name should be fairly original, don't use a character name, ideally you don't want to have to hyphenate the name for a web address: morgans-toys.co.uk would not be a good idea for example and keep it simple. Why simple? You may be able to spell a long complicated word, others may not and also people may be unfamiliar with the word. When I ran Skywarp.co.uk it seemed pretty simple to me but then anyone who wasn't into Transformers would hear "Sky ward" or ask what a skywarp is.

"What do you mean they haven't heard of me?"

When it comes to starting up the costs are pretty big. When I started Masterforce I very quickly realised that a lot of money doesn't look like a lot of stock on a website. Despite a pretty big investment, the site looked absolutely bare and the launch had to be delayed while more stock was bought in to fill it up (a problem also affecting a new site I'm working on).

Pop Vinyl figures - relatively cheap but multiples add up.

So let's consider stock levels as even the cheapest item still adds up. The cost of a Pop vinyl figure for example is £6.50 or thereabouts plus VAT and shipping which is pretty cheap but if you want to have, say 20 different Pop figures on your site then if you find a wholesaler who sells individually it'll cost you £130 plus VAT. VAT is always the killer because £130 doesn't sound too bad but £156 isn't as much of a deal. If you are buying from a supplier who sells only in case quantities (as most do) then you will have to buy 6 of each character, so now you're buying 20 different characters at 6 of each which is 120 figures. 120 x £6.50 is £780 plus VAT or £836 including VAT. 

Most websites display 20 items on a page, so you've spent £836 on one page of Pop vinyl figures.

Transformers are worse.

When Warbotron launched they had a very large minimum order quantity per figure. So ask yourself, which would you prefer?


Without giving away confidential details your money would have bought you either the minmum quantity of Heavy Noisy or a brand new Lexus IS 250.

Profit Margin/Markup
The universal way of working out the selling price for an item is cost price x 2.4. Why 2.4? Because you want to double your money (the 2) and you have to take VAT into consideration at 20% (the .4). So if you buy an item for £10 you would need to sell it for £24 in order to pay the VAT man and make double your money.

Except toys don't work that way. 

Would you pay £27.99?

Combiner Wars deluxe figures work out at £27.99 each if you use that formula. Star Wars black figures (normally £22.99) would be £38.40! Worse still Apollyon from X-Transbots would have cost £203.99.

Toys work on a tiny margin where you earn about £3 profit on a deluxe figure and £5 on a Star Wars black figure. That's in a perfect world though. What happens when you get a Star Wars case which has 3 good characters and one that no one wants? Likewise Transformers. Generations Skids is expensive and not easy to find, why? Because he came even packed as 2x Skids 2x Waspinator 2 x Dreadwing and 2x Goldfire. Everyone wanted Skids, quite a few people wanted Waspinator, no one really wanted the other two. 

This is where shelfwarmers are created. In order to meet demand for Skids you need to order a lot of cases but then you get stuck with an army of Dreadwings and Goldfires that you have to reduce to try and get your money back out of them. It doesn't take a genius to work out that selling half a case at cost price or less to get rid of them doesn't make you megabucks, especially when the other half is only making you £3 a figure.

Sorry, did I say £3 a figure, I meant £2.50 because the government taxes your profit.

In short you need to sell a lot of toys and not make any mis-steps because the small profit margins mean that one bad choice will result in you losing profit from perhaps 5 or 6 figures that were profitable. Also bigger stores sell cheaper and trying to compete will erode all profit.

Let us never speak of this figure and the money it lost me.

Let's keep this one short - your shop is as good as your supplier. Combiner Wars Wave 3 sold amazingly well for Masterforce but Wave 4 has sold next to nothing despite containing some good characters. Why? Because our stock arrived late. We use the biggest distributor in the US for Hasbro products but they have become increasingly unreliable. Our Frozen dolls ordered in September 2014 which would arrive in December 2014 right in time for Christmas currently have an estimated shipping date of September 2015. Imagine that order was for Age of Extinction toys and the loss would be huge. Biggest isn't always best, reliability is.

A number of Asian suppliers and manufacturers only accept bank transfers which means you are literally sending cash to a stranger on the other side of the world without any sort of guarantee other than their word. I don't think I need to explain how much of a minefield that is. The ones who accept Paypal will usually charge between 4 and 5% as a handling fee, which is understandable but is another expense eating your profit.

So let's leave it there for now and in part 2 we'll look at the process of actually selling.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Boldforms BSC-01 Lonewolf Review

combiner wars menasor

Motormaster in torso mode has been easily the weakest part of Combiner Wars so far, so a replacement with 3rd party engineering and slavish Generation aesthetics is a no brainer right?

Sort of. Read on to uncover a whole lot more on this interesting first figure from new third party company-Boldforms.

boldforms motormaster

The alt mode is pure Generation 1 Motormaster toy, from the cab with the extra windows on top, to the Grey trailer with Purple stripe. At first I thought it was an exact replica of the G1 toy, but Google tells me it is not, it is just really close.

Gorgeous Decepticon Purple windows make a strong comeback and the paint is really nicely applied, as it is all over the figure.

One thing that struck me across the whole figure is how understated the paint apps are, but how well they are executed. The Purple lines on the side for example do not look like paint, it is more like they are coloured plastic - but it is actually paint. Nothing here tries to draw your eyes in a way that undermines the sculpt, it is there purely to compliment the existing detailing.

That in itself is quite cool, as the lines from G1 Motormaster are mimicked exactly by Lonewolf - no expense spared.

Wow, I jumped to the paint much earlier than I thought.

boldforms lonewolf back

One noticeable bump is what I assume is Boldforms own combiner port sticking right out their on the side, but even that is appropriately placed to break up the lines in the same places the G1 Motormaster trailer.

Something Boldforms would have done well to not imitate is the really tiny wheels. Sure the original had them, but they are so small and like to wobble. They do snap into place, and can be rotated round to match your preference, and if you feel the cab sticks out you can push it back further, but you will have to remove that Grey piece and the sword.

lonewolf sword storage

Yes, just in case you were wondering if Lonewolf could store his weapon, It conveniently locks into place by slotting underneath the trailer-"out of sight, out of mind".

The grey piece that covers the swords handle is a separate piece with clips into place behind the cab. Sounds easy yeah? Wrong.

Because of the way the cab is hitched to the trailer, and the faff of getting into the right position, unless you have it perfectly placed it will push that Grey piece forward. Because the sword also slides into the bottom of rear detachable part of the trailer, it can end up forcing the back of trailer apart.

It doesn't need any encouragement as it loves to fall off all by itself.

Once you get the hang of it, it is a lovely example of weapon storage as keeps it out of the way but not in a way where you just have it off to the side. It just can be a bit of a faff.

boldforms lonewolf combiner wars motormaster

Lonewolf's truck mode does feel small, especially when placed next too Combiner Wars Motormaster who dwarfs him. But it is deceptive, as it is quite long and there is a lot of mass from the robot mode condensed quite brilliantly. It feels like Boldforms are pulling off an illusion that David Blaine would be proud of, but with less eyes on hands.

Perhaps instead of Lonewolf, Boldforms should have named him "Illusionist"?

Lonewolf has a very G1 accurate truck mode and I love it for that.

His instructions claim transformation is an 8 step process...HAHA! Comedians!

You are better served just using them as a rough guide.

As it stands, getting Lonewolf to robot mode is mostly a treat, and a great example of ingenuity on the part of its designers.

boldforms lonewolf

The only part that may be confusing at first is forming the feet, but the rest of it unfolds in an intuitive manner, where each part flips out then guides you to the next. Really, I was completely surprised as with it being a third party product I had long accepted that it was probably going to be quite awkward. But no, it was all pretty smooth.

That is not to say it is really simple, it isn't and that's a testament to the skill of the designers, because it feels familiar and obvious but is not like the Combiner Wars figures where it is just a couple of twists and turns.
Some parts, namely the shoulders don't lock when extended, which seems really odd as with the slightest touch they will be sucked back inwards.

I did have to do a bit of surgery to remove some plastic from the right arm, to enable it to extend, but looking around the interwebs I believe that may have just been a one off problem. Easily fixed though. My Girlfriend even called me manly...doesn't happen very often!

boldforms lonewolf head

Once transformed there is very little kibble hanging off as most of the pieces fold away to produce a tall, lean Motormaster.

Toy Motormaster that is, as you can see from the head they have based it on the G1 box art- or at least that is what it looks like to me. Paint use is again sublime, with a lovely satin, matte finish that is so neatly painted you could be forgiven for thinking the plastic was molded in those colours. 

Special praise goes to the eyes, they way they are lined in black is so well done, and it almost justifies the high price of third party figures for that level of skill and craftsmanship.

Personally, I would have preferred them to also have included an optional cartoon style face as I love that on the Combiner Wars figure, but then I am reminded that Boldforms did not create this with the intention of it being paired up with Combiner Wars figures. 

The head can only turn side to side, as it is living in a box, living in a...plastic box, which is a bit disappointing. I am not sure if it shows up well in the pictures, but one of the panels on the side of the head box is slightly bent. It looks like the pin has gone in slightly at an angle so it will not bend fully into place.

It is a very minor aesthetic flaw, but we are discussing a quite expensive toy here, that is designed exclusively with the collector market niche in mind.

This toy is huge, that is what I meant earlier about feeling like an illusion as Lonewolf ends up at nearly MP-10 height from a truck mode that looks little.

What sorcery is this!?

He is way too small to stand with the CW Stunticons however, it actually looks very funny (why didn't I take a photo of that?).

boldforms lonewolf

You can feel that the toys designer must have had a real fondness for that old Motormaster figure, it is literally pouring out of the box. Often when an old character is updated, there is a propensity for companies to add extra detailing and flourishes which were not there. Sometimes it works, and other times it draws your attention and looks out of place.

Boldforms have gone as far in the opposite direction as possible and stuck to a very simple, but effective detailing pattern.

What is new, are the paint apps on Motormasters shins and again they are beautifully done and are so understated they feel like they were part of the old toy.

I don't like Lonwolf, oh no, I love it! 10CC kids, look it up.

There are virtually no ball joints on this guy, but you don't lose any articulation. Actually he fares better than most; so many swivels and hinges and it is a brilliantly fun figure to play with and pose. There is a lot of heft to the figure, which helps him pull off some great poses.

Lonewolf's knees are double jointed to give you extra posing super powers, but oddly the bottom hinge is scarily tight, whilst the top hinge is completely loose on both legs. If he had an Achilles heel in this mode - this is it.

He can sometimes flop, but it becomes a much bigger problem in combined mode than it is here (put a pin in that). It should be easily fixable, by removing a screw, but even though it is Boldforms' first effort, so some problems are to be expected-  it feels a little annoying to be paying for a company to learn from their mistakes.

boldforms bsc 01 lonewolf

Lonewolf does have quite a few extra pieces in his trunk (box). Just like the G1 toy, the Menasor chest plate and waist pieces do not integrate into the figure, so that can be filed in the box marked "homage".

The chest piece is actually two pieces that clip together. One is a piece of plastic with some purple paint applied which will eventually fill out Menasors torso. The original rolling skateboard of doom is also included, but this version only has painted Silver circles as opposed to actual wheels. Booo.

He comes with his trademark sword which is an awesome piece, and two sets of hands to wield it with. One pair is just a molded fist with peg hole (like cup holders) and the others are a bit fancier because they can open.

But where is the rifle? Stop breaking my heart Boldforms.

The rear of the truck is a separate piece and opens as if it is supposed to do something. Lots of detailing adorns the interior, the back door has four peg holes in it that suggest they are supposed to do something - but no mention is made of what.

A misstep then? Ehhhh, I am not sure. On one hand it makes the figure feel unfinished, as if it is an extra piece to be tacked on. But on the other there are so many other bits to shove to the side anyway, and if you are buying this type of toy in the first place then chances are you are only really going to display it and already appreciate extra bits of figures that serve no purpose in some modes..

It is not as if it is going to be from being played with too much,

You also get some Combiner Wars compatible pegs...can you guess what they are for?

boldforms lonewolf g1 fule tank gun

Remember that Grey piece I mentioned earlier? The one that locks the sword to the underside of the truck? Well, it makes a comeback here as it forms a small gun, when you combine it with the fuel tanks from Lonewolf's cab.

So Lonewolf does have a gun? No, the handle is specifically sized to fit into the hands of the original G1 combiner limbs.

Why? I have no idea. The G1 Stunticons can't attatch to Lonewolf and even if they could it would look ridiculous.

But it is symptomatic of Boldforms' approach to this figure where it is loaded with weird and wonderful ideas, but they don't always hit the mark.

Lonewolf's robot mode is great, truly in every sense of the word. It is weighty, well balanced, the paint work is sublime and looks every the part.

This is the mode I would personally display him in, on a Masterpiece shelf and up until I put him in robot mode I was expecting that mode to be the one I cared of least.

What a pleasant surprise.

boldforms lonewolf

The reason that most people will either have bought this figure, or be considering purchasing it is to use it as combiner torso and replace the scrappy Hasbro effort (those thighs, why did they give him those awful thighs?) and it does look spectacular.

Getting him there from robot mode is not the worst experience in the world, Boldforms have been extremely clever in how Lonewolf switches to gestalt mode, but if you are still looking at the instructions, just put them away- they may as well have just drawn a smiley face on a sun.

The box that formed the Motormaster head folds down to form his famous shoulder pylon and his stomach panel rotates to completely transform (zing) how his lower torso looks. Tricks like this employed by Boldforms will raise a smile as so much thought and imagination have gone into them.

But then you will come to the cab and how it folds onto the back of the legs - and you will lose your mind.
Not only do you have to deal with them often coming off the hinges, much like in robot mode, but then the instructions abandon all pretence of helping you when it comes to how they actually sit there.

I will give you a heads up, there is a bit of swivelling involved, and some panels on a ball joint that hang precariously.

Lonewolf's truck cab then just hangs off the back of his legs, tabbing in nowhere and it feels like they ran out of ideas so just left it. However, they are placed in such a fashion as to not obstruct articulation so it feels like they did think it through.

But came up with this mental compromise, and just to add to the craziness there are some tiny ball jointed panels with the smokestacks on that fold up and dangle away.

I have seen a lot of people just remove the cab and have done with it, which is easy to do as it just pops off. It saves you some hassle, and it looks much cleaner so might be a good option just for display.

boldforms lonewolf menasor

Once you have got that frustration out of your system, I will say it again Menasor looks fantastic. I am switching to just calling him Menasor in this mode, as I don't believe Boldforms have given him a separate name and referring to him as Lonewolf is confusing me.

It is a huge improvement on the CW Menasor, it looks so G1 and has massively improved proportions. He is much leaner, and ends up a bit taller as a result.

The head has come in for a bit of grief, based on that smile but I quite like it. For me it feels like Boldforms just applying their signature to a figure that is so meticulously based on another persons original design. This flourish just reminds you that it is something new and gives it a very subtle extra bit of character in a position that will draw your eyes.

Articulation is great, with the superior legs and waist swivel really aiding the overall look of the CW limbs.

Okay, so now as much as I have gushed about it - there is only one real issue I encountered in for the Gestalt (that's a fancy word for combiner). For this mode, Lonewolf's knees collapse and his waist ratchets are incredibly strong. Good so far then?

Yeah, but that leg does not fully collapse leaving the double keen exposed and the extra weight the combiner limbs mean it is superflop city (paraphrased from sir Brock of Lesnar). When posing him, he has a tendency to snap backwards, which is scary when you are talking about such an expensive toy, and your own fingers.

combiner wars transformers

The ideas and imagination demonstrated by Boldforms make me excited to see what they come up with in future, but as a first figure it suffers from teething troubles.

Nothing majorly terrible, it is still a very, very good figure with excellent quality plastic, but there are just a handful of areas that could have been dealt with better and would have made this a must own piece.

Boldforms really need to use more pegs, and rely less on friction just holding things in place.

If this figure was released prior to Combiner Wars, I think it would have been met with a much louder reaction. That is a shame, as this toy has a good truck mode, a brilliant bot mode and spectacular looking, if floppy, combined mode.

Plus, it is an awesome Menasor. Everyone loves Menasor.

Lonewolf is currently available from Masterforce here

If you liked this review, please check out Toybox Soapbox or you can follow me on Twitter